Fourth class of students enters Medical Assistant Program

Twenty-four new students were inducted into Briya’s Medical Assistant Program during a ceremony this fall.

Gina Pistulka, Briya instructor, welcomed everyone and spoke to the incoming students about the vital work they will do as medical assistants.

“You are the face of the healthcare team,” Pistulka said. “You are the one the patient will meet first. You are the one who will start to create the environment in which a person begins to heal.”

“You and the students who have come before you are some of the most inspirational people I have met,” she added. “You have already shown your strength and your persistence in moving your life forward and accepting challenges that will bring you and your families to a brighter place.”

A 2016 MA Program graduate, Lahana Bernard, then spoke to the class about her time in the 15-month program, which prepares students to work alongside doctors and nurses.

“I feel very prepared and confident,” she said. “I have gained a lot of knowledge and skills from this program, which will enable me to have a career–not just a job.”

Bernard also spoke about her positive experience with her teachers and classmates at Briya.

The instructors here are the best,” she said. “They really care and will work with you to make sure you understand the content. As students … we were all one big family. Students bonded and supported each other through tough personal and family issues and losses.”

After hearing from Pistulka and Bernard, each incoming student received a medical assistant pin from a program graduate. The new students then recited the medical assistant creed, officially becoming Briya’s MA class of 2017.

The new class left the ceremony with words of inspiration offered by Bernard.

“The program gave me a light at the end of the tunnel,” she said. “My advice to you all is when times are hard and you feel like you’ve hit a wall, don’t give up. Think about why you’re doing the program … and let that be your motivation.”

Induction Ceremony Speech – Lahana Bernard

GIMG_2022ood evening.  My name is Lahana Bernard.  I am a MA student from this past MA program school year.  I would first like to congratulate you all on starting this exciting new journey.  I personally feel like this program has definitely changed my life for the better.  If I hadn’t found the program, I would be still doing the same rinky dink jobs working at restaurants and coffee shops.  I felt like these jobs weren’t stable because my hours were always being cut and I wasn’t paid much.  Then I went to an appointment at Mary’s Center and started talking to Shenell who graduated from the MA program.  She told me about Briya, so I called to enroll.

When I first started the program, it was difficult because I started out with no knowledge. As time went on, I started grasping it and felt like I really knew the information.  The instructors here are the best.  They are supportive and understanding.  They really care and will work with you to make sure you understand the content. The students were passionate about getting the RMA, and the teachers were equally as enthusiastic and encouraging in the classroom celebrating how far everyone has come and excited for our success.

Before I heard about the program, I had complications from my pregnancy which inspired me to learn more about health related items.  Every day, I googled everything I thought was wrong.  I found all of it so interesting.  That is where the spark to go into the medical field started.  When I first started the program my son was only 6 months old. He wasn’t in daycare which made going to school while being a new mom a little difficult at times.  As students, we were all adults and had things going on like children and jobs, but we were all one big family.  My classmates took care of my baby like he was their own.  We grew attached to each other. Students bonded and supported each other through tough personal and family issues and losses. We even cried together. I will be the first to tell you that there were times when I wanted to quit, but I thought about my son and how far I had already come.  The program gave me a light at the end of the tunnel.  So my advice to you all is when times are hard and you feel like you’ve hit a wall, don’t give up. Think about why you’re doing the program in the first place and let that be your motivation.

This experience helped shape what I want to do.  Now, I feel like the medical field is my passion.  I have gained a lot of knowledge and skills from this program which will enable me to have a career… not just a job. My dream is to get some hands-on experience for a year before I go back to school in nursing.  My ultimate goal is to be a physician’s assistant and due to my experience delivering my son, my area of interest is high risk OBGYN.  Now that my year in the MA program is ending, I feel very prepared and confident.  On Monday, I am going to take my RMA exam and after that I will be ready to get out there.  For you all, the 12-15 months is just starting but it will be over before you know it and you will get to walk away with the title “Registered Medical Assistant” just like me.  Thank you all for your time and good luck!